Mixed Martial Arts, or MMA, is one of the fastest growing sports in the world. With that, comes interest in the sport from the rich and famous. From former presidents to film actors, NFL players to music legends, across the country, celebrities are practicing this sport.
Mixed Martial Arts
“MMA encompasses disciplines from various martial arts and Olympic sports, such as boxing, kick-boxing, karate, jiu-jitsu, muay thai, tae kwon do, wrestling and judo.
Rounds are five minutes in length and there are typically three rounds in a contest, unless it’s a championship fight (or a non-title UFC main event), in which case, the contest lasts five rounds,” according to Mirror.co.uk.
Robert Downey Jr. and Christian Bale Kung-Fu
Both Robert Downey Jr. and Christian Bale are Wing Chun Kung-Fu martial artists and have the same trainer. Downey Jr. began practicing it in 2002-2003, which he credits for giving him the strength to overcome his addictions. Wing Chun is referred to as “a martial art for the mind,” and is known to increase focus, concentration and relaxation.
Ryan Phillipe Tae Kwon Do
Ryan Phillipe has been studying Tae Kwon Do since he was a child, and has earned his black belt in the art. Tae Kwon Do is a Korean martial art with a heavy emphasis on kicks. He started practicing as a way to fight off bullies in school.
Ryan also studied the combat sport of Thailand, Muay Thai, to get ready for his role in Only God Forgives. While getting ready for his film, he also adhered to the Muay Thai diet of Fish, Green Vegetables and Rice.
Ashton Kutcher Jiu-Jitsu
According to Brisbane Martial Arts, Brazillian Jiu-Jitsu challenges the body and mind while also teaching self-defense and confidence. “The theory behind BJJ is that most people are only comfortable and confident kicking or punching while standing. Consequently, BJJ practitioners who have mastered the art of defending themselves on the ground, will be able to quickly dominate their attackers, no matter how big they are!”
Ashton Kutcher had a high school wrestling background, so he was a quick study at Jiu-Jitsu, earning himself a purple belt. According to his trainer, he was even good enough to beat some pros. So he’s not just a pretty face, and may have a second career competing in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
Taylor Lautner Karate
Taylor has been competing in Karate, a Japanese martial art consisting predominantly of punching, kicking, knee strikes, elbow strikes and open hand techniques such as knife-hands, spear-hands, and palm-heel strikes, since the age of six. He has even won medals in the discipline. Taylor attributes the study of Karate to teaching him hard work and discipline at a young age.
Wesley Snipes Hapkido and Shotokan Karate
Wesley has not only a black belt in Hapkido, but one in Shotokan Karate, as well. Hapkido is a Korean martial art, that is a form of self-defense, employing joint locks, grappling and throwing techniques of other martial arts, as well as kicks, punches, and other striking attacks.
Forest Whitaker Kenpo and Kali
Forest is another multi-discipline trained competitor with not only a black belt in Kenpo, but he also trains in the Filipino martial art of Kali. Kenpo is a Japanese martial art that’s strictly a system of self-defense, and not about fighting. While Kali, the national martial art of the Philippines, emphasizes weapon-based fighting with sticks, knives, bladed weapons and various improvised weapons.
Martial arts are a great way to discipline the mind and body. You can fight fat, tone those muscles, and clear your head while practicing. And, apparently, it’s a really great way to get ready for your next big role!